Monday, August 11, 2008

I Saw A Statesmen
Last week my wife and I flew to San Antonio to attend the General Assembly of the Church of God, a biannual convention of the denomination that provides our covering. I have been raised in this denomination, am fourth generation and am raising the fifth generation at this present time. My great-grandmother became convinced of the reality of the present day movement of the Holy Spirit after a lady took hot coals out of a pot bellied stove, and the next day took her hands out of a sink full of soapy water to show unburned hands and a speck of soot under her finger nail. My grandmother pastored churches and preached the gospel for 48 years, my mother raised me in church, and I this year celebrated my 29th year of ministry and am raising my children to love and serve the Lord. Nearly 20,000 converged upon San Antonio to discuss the business of the church, to worship the Lord, and to plan for the future. I have to admit I went with a bit of a cynical attitude, desiring to see things change and wanting God to shake our reality. During one of the business sessions I was seated next to a friend and mentor, chatting back and forth I mentioned that I was concerned that there were no statesmen, those men and women who stand larger than life, who represent God in such a way that there is no question when they announce they have a word from the Lord. These are the people you can't wait to hear, would love to spend quality time with, if only for a moment, and when they speak...you listen...the truly have something to say! How I longed for men and women of God to stand up and prophetically declare a present truth and emerge into our generation like the prophets of old...and then I saw one! Tom Madden was elected to be the international director of youth and christian education, a young man, in his mid forties I would suppose...as he stood before the conference tears began to dwell in his eyes, his voice quivering, overwhelmed at the confidence his fellow ministers had placed upon him...he boldly announced that there is a generation rising that loves God, that has not and will not bow to the culture, a generation hungry for revival, that will be satisfied with nothing less that an absolute revolution of the kingdom...and the Holy Spirit said to me...There's your statesman! I am reminded of the Old Testament prophet Elijah, a mighty man of God who in a dark hour of time wondered if he was the only one left, the last prophet standing for what was right...in the quietness of a cave God spoke and reminded him that there were 7,000 in Israel that had not bowed down to the culture and were ready to die for the kingdom...I am convinced that there is a remnant of believers, young and old alike that love God, His house, His Word, that believe His promise will become a reality and will stand face to face with hell itself and declare the truth of God! There are unknown statesman, people whose names will never be spoken in the popular circles of christianity, who have heard from God and seek to fulfill His purpose in the earth. It's really not about the denomination or group we're associated with, it's about the relationship we have with Jesus Christ and our fellow believers...our best days are just before us...God is looking for some statesmen...could you be the one He finds?

2 comments:

David said...

Neil,
I am so glad you had a blessed time in San Antonio. Praise the Lord for granting the desire of your heart and may He continue to raise up men and women of God for this age. Additionally, may the youth of America rise up in love, holiness and truth.
Dave Anderson

Ken said...

Tom Madden preached our Camp Meeting this Summer and it was simply one of the best "preached" Camp Meetings that I have ever attended. It was clear that he had sought and heard from God coming in and then he stood and delivered. Statesman? Yeah, I would coincide with that assessment. Maybe one of our greatest?